Archive for the 'Chickenbrain Ideas' Category

Ask SkiChicken: What makes snow slippery

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Here at World Headquarters, we study all sorts of interesting questions. For one, why is Guinness such a lovely brew? Why does a third glass make me giggle sometimes? Other questions we sometimes find in our server logs.

For example, I can tell someone recently came to our website after searching for answers to the question “What makes snow slippery?”. I’m not sure why our site came up in the search engine results from that query, but we take it as a suggestion – NAY, a mission statement – to respond to each and every question we find this way. Within the bounds of good taste, of course.

So here is the answer, Victoria (Or whatever your name is):
I think it’s because it melts a little bit with the friction of a ski or snowboard gliding across it. The very thin film of water that results makes you slip down the slope.

That answer based upon my liberal arts degree (Hey, it was BS – you probably guessed that). But really, aren’t there more qualified sites out there to ask? If your life depends on it somehow(like in episode 12 of MacGyver, starring Richard Dean Anderson), maybe you should ask a more scientific-minded website.

5 reasons why you need ski poles

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

This isn’t one of those blogs that follows what ski instructors tell you. I don’t know if you’ve caught onto that by now, but I just thought I’d let you – the reader – know. There’s a reason I’m not a better skier: Listening skills. Learning ability. And some other stuff I wan’t paying attention to. Today’s post flies in the face of all of the good advice I’ve ever gotten. Why the heck do we skiers need ski poles?

1. Feelers
It’s fun to drag your pole as you are turning. It tells you how far down the ground is, and allows you to adjust. Will you be in the Olympics using this technique? Well, probably not. But really, you should stop fooling yourself about that anyway – there’s a couple other reasons you won’t won’t be bringing home the gold any time soon. So drag your poles a little and have fun!

2. Self defense against marauding snow ninjas
Ever been attacked by marauding snow ninjas? No, of course not. why? Because you had your poles with you. Snow ninjas, while they love marauding, absolutely HATE to be poked. Poles are an effective self defense implement. When I first started skiing as a child, skiers would sometimes buzz too close. My Uncle Bob taught me to flail my limbs when I heard someone about to buzz me. Poof – magically no more close calls. This technique of flailing serves me well, even today, as it has become my main method of dancing at clubs.

3. Annoys purists
There is still much snobbery among the ski culture elite, and using poles just bugs the heck out of them. Purists are fun to annoy. I think that’s why they were created -for us to have a little fun with them. What are they going to do – be offended? They would be anyway!

4. It’s a crutch
Many a ski instructor has probably said “Don’t use your poles – it’s a crutch”. Well, duh. Of course it’s a crutch! that’s why you should use them! Would you tell an injured person not to use their crutch, simply because it’s a crutch?! No way. Crutches are helpful, and we use them when we need help.

And no one need more help on the slopes than me.

Whoops – that’s only four. What are you, a purist?

Master of the 2 hour ski trip

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

I frequently end up on the slopes Copper Mountain just two hours or so before they close. Why would anyone want to ski for just two hours? Well first off, sometimes it’s all I can do. I’ve found the perfect ski day to be too elusive. But work until noon, then make the drive? Much simpler. I also don’t have to wait for the perfect roads, perfect weather, etc. Just 2 hours – maybe 5 if you could driving roundtrip from Denver – is all it takes. Some other reasons you might want to try the 2 hour ski:

1. A 2 hour ski makes you thankful. Every twist and turn of your skis / snowboard are so very precious. For every run you take, you might consider whether you’ll have time – or sacrifice the time – to come back through. Each run takes on new meaning. There are no second chances.

2. Everyone is already enjoying Apre Ski, or just worn out. Less crowded hills and lift lines make it feel like the mountain is all yours.

I plan another 2 or 3 hour trip next week. I might ski loveland just to have another hour more or so on the slopes. I’ll let you know how it goes!

SkiChicken Truths: God wouldn’t have made snow slippery if we weren’t supposed to ski on it

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Ski Chicken Truth: God wouldn’t have made snow slippery if we weren’t supposed to ski on it.

Think of that amazing thing we know as snow. It’s just water, silly. Slippery, sweet water. It lubricates the skis through a little process I call magic. And it dumps upon the mountains. Oodles and oodles of the stuff. Powdery goodness from above, falling every day like Manna did for Moses.

Many people have probably wondered: Are we supposed to ski? Of course! Have you experienced the awesome wonder of creation, looking down from the Cirque at Snowmass? If not, drop EVERYTHING right now and get yer ass up there.

Still here? Shame on you.

Guinness Health Effects: Prevents Blood Clots

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

There is a new study in showing Guinness protects as well as Aspirin against blood clots. So let me ask – why are we wasting our money on Aspirin? Let’s do a quick comparison:
Aspirin: Prevents Blood Clots
Guinness: Prevents Blood Clots, is tasty.

Aspirin: Stops headaches
Guinness: Probably also stops headaches, provides refreshment.

Aspirin: White in color, devoid of pigment and liveliness
Guinness: Rich in pigment, rich in frothy goodness

Aspirin: Probably makes your stomach bleed and gives you rheumatic fever
Guinness: Coats your stomach lining, protecting you against even the hottest chicken wings.

As you leave the mountain and prepare to board that long plane ride home, know that last pint of guinness is coursing through your veins, lovingly protecting your arteries against a clot!

SkiChicken Truths: What is snow?

Friday, December 21st, 2007

I was just explaining to my son what snow was. Often times we plan out what we are going to say, thinking rationally about it, examining it factually, emotionally, logically, and in other ways. But I’ve found when explaining things to my toddler, these truths just come out. And so, I present a new feature on The SkiChicken Truths. The first of which is: “Snow is like a friend that you ski on.”

The Great Guinness Beer Heist

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

It wasn’t me. I have witnesses that can place me in the USA at the time. Apparently, someone stole more than $200,000 worth of Guinness. It sounds like they just pulled up and collected kegs. I didn’t know you could just pull up in a truck and get beer. It’s a good idea.
All in all, 39,600 pints of beer are missing. No one got a good look at the man who took it either. The retail value of the beer was over $235,000!
I bet it was my ski buddy Mike.

Copper’s Trail Map needs help!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

I made my daily visit to Copper Mountain’s website this morning, and saw they had a few more trails open. They had a buttload of snow last weekend, so I thought more of the mountain would be open. I do see my sweet “Upper Collage” run is open, so I might just venture up this afternoon. I also saw loverly is open, which made me ask “What the heck is a loverly, and where is it?” The Copper Mountain Trail Map is NO HELP:

Jeez, guys – do I have to roll my own?

Copper Mountain Opening Day!

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

It is a beautiful day over at Copper Mountain, and I’ll be joining them for the opening day festivities later today. I was only able to ski the afternoon last year, but I found the mountain empties out. It is a much better experience having the mountain entirely to yourself, and hearing the music and fun at the base in the background.

In previous years, I tried to get up there early only to get tuckered out at 2pm like everyone else. Now I am going to arrive at noon or 1pm and ski my (chicken) heart out!

Breckenridge ski pilgrimage

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

I’m blogging LIVE from Breckendridge, or as we call it in Colorado: “Breck”. Breck isn’t open yet, but we always like to come up this time of year for a cheap nightly rate and a little fun. The whole town of Breckenridge is more “ski-in, ski-out” than other ski towns I’ve seen(not many, admittedly).

I highly recommend Wildwood Suites Breckenridge Condominiums. The rooms are clean and cozy, and ours has a full dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, stove, oven, toaster and coffee maker! The kitchen drawers are stocked with a few common utensils. The bed is comfortable, and they have a hot tub out beside the stream. That’s right: the stream. It is a relaxing background while sitting out on the patio drinking your guinness. Oh yeah, every room seems to have a patio. They charge $10 more to be on the stream side, but I recommend it. The other side isn’t bad at all (I forget if they actually have patios), but it’s nice to sit out on the patio chairs and sip a beer. They also have a sauna and a fireplace on the property. Very nice place.

We didn’t really check the weather before coming this year, and apparently there is snow! I was hoping to get more photos of Breckenridge before the big blanket of snow that’s covering it now, but who’s complaining?! It’s a beautiful ski town, and now is displaying it’s full beauty! It’s packed with friendly locals and wonderful places to eat. They’re a little more frazzled after ski season, but right now you can feel the excitement in the air around town. Ski season is coming!

We may need to stay in Breck another night or two if the roads are rough, but we did see sand trucks out for their trial run yesterday. Breckenridge is usually very accessible, and it’s more wishful thinking that we’d be stuck here than anything. I hope to take some “core samples” of snow, and examine them carefully. I may even take a baggy or two of the stuff home to keep in the freezer. It isn’t enough to ski on, but there’s nothing like a baggy full of snow in a Hot Denver July.